Crowdfunding has become a popular way to fund projects and build businesses. There are many crowdfunding platforms out there, but Kickstarter has become a popular choice for many entrepreneurs and innovative people. There are hundreds of Kickstarter campaigns started every year, but not all of them are successfully funded. However, there are a few campaigns that defy expectations and raise more than their target. In this article, I’ll be looking at the most successful Kickstarter campaigns ever and how they’ve done since being successfully funded.
Pebble Time: Most Funded Campaign
With a fundraising target of $500,000, Pebble Technology Corporation raised $20,338,986 through its 78,471 backers to finance its second-generation Pebble watches in 2015: The Pebble Time and the Pebble Time Steel. Pebble made more than 4,067% of its initial target, making them one of the most backed campaigns on Kickstarter.
With competitors such as the Microsoft Band and the Apple Watch, Pebble couldn’t keep up with the popular and well-established brands, and their smartwatches with colour e-paper display and 7-day battery life didn’t quite catch on. In 2016, Pebble Technology Corporation sold their technology to Fitbit for $23 million after turning down other million-dollar offers from Intel and Citizen.
Star Citizen: Most Funded Campaign Yet to Materialise
In 2012, Cloud Imperium Games started with a fundraising target of $500,000 but their 34,397 backers help them to raise $2,134,374 for their game, Star Citizen. They also funded an extra $180 million through their own website and $46 million through private investments. Through Kickstarter, they raised more than 426% of their initial goal.
Directed by Chris Roberts, designer of games such as the Wing Commander franchise and Freelancer, Star Citizen is expected to be as good as, if not better, than Roberts’ previous games. With the funds they’ve raise, we would hope so! Originally slated for release in 2014, we’ve yet to see the game in action. There have been numerous setbacks, additional goals, extended release dates and deadlines that have not been met, which has been criticised by the fans who have already invested in the game and backed it on Kickstarter.
Exploding Kittens: Most Backers for A Single Campaign
In 2015, Exploding Kittens raised $8,782,571 from their 219,382 backers, surpassing their fundraising target of $10,000. Not only did they raise more than their goal, but they achieved their goal in no more than 8 minutes, raising 87,825% of their goal. This card game is known for having the most backers of any Kickstarter campaign since it was founded in 2009.
According to their campaign page and website, ‘players take turns drawing cards until someone draws an exploding kitten and loses the game’. The origin story of the Exploding Kittens game is quite humorous and in the ‘Backer’s Achievements’ section of their campaign page, there are completed goals such as ‘create an Exploding Kittens Wikipedia game’, ‘most backed campaign ever’, ‘post a photo of 100 people wearing cat ears’ and ‘post 25 pics of a potatocat’. Their stretch goal of creating a NSFW extension pack was reached and it can now be played as a stand-alone game.
Oculus Rift: Biggest Success Story
Oculus VR’s 9,552 backers helped them to raise $2,437,429 for the Oculus Rift in 2012, much more than their target of $250,000. Reaching 974% of its goal, Oculus Rift is perhaps one of the most successful products to come from Kickstarter and is described as being ‘the first truly immersive virtual reality headset for video games’. The virtual reality (VR) headset allows gamers to become immersed in whatever game they’re playing. It can also be used for watching spherical videos, 3D design, as an educational tool, and for medical training.
This virtual reality headset has competed against other popular VR products such as the Microsoft HoloLense, PlayStation VR and Lenovo Explorer. After Oculus VR was bought by Facebook for $2 billion in 2014, the Oculus Rift VR headset received much success until the product was discontinued in 2019; however, in the same year, Oculus VR has released a second-generation product called the ‘Oculus Rift S’.